MEET THE TEAM
A tireless advocate for girls and women, Michele Byrd-McPhee is the founder and Executive Director of Ladies of Hip-Hop. A non-profit organization empowering girls and women through Hip-Hop culture and arts. Michele has been working for decades to re-contextualize spaces and conversations about Hip-Hop culture along gender, sex, cultural, socio-historical and racial lines. As well as, situating Black dance forms, theories, dance techniques and the value of the lived artistic experience, in spaces that honor and acknowledge cultural roots along with the many creative pioneers who have shaped them. This is especially important given the ways in which Black dance has been co-opted, appropriated without acknowledgement to its community cultural origins.
Byrd-McPhee earned her BS from Temple University & an MS in Nonprofit Arts Management from Drexel University. Michele also worked many years in TV and arts production, working as a production coordinator at Brooklyn Academy of Music and then as a Senior Music Coordinator at Late Night with Seth Meyers. Michele currently is teaching Marketing for the Arts and Arts Advocacy at Texas Tech University. She also serves as a Bessie Award Committee Member along with her ongoing commitment as Executive Director for Ladies of Hip-Hop and artistic director of LDC (LOHH Dance Collective).
Most recently, in partnership with SNIPES USA, Michele opened New York’s only woman-led, woman-owned and women-focused street dance & arts space. With the LOHH x SNIPES partnership Byrd-McPhee is literally and figuratively flipping the dance world on its head! Historically, there has been a hierarchy in dance where ballet and forms derived from ballet are atop the global "ladder of dance"; receiving priority in resources, access and in what and who is presented and taught. The LOHH X SNIPES Studio space is dedicated to street and club dance forms. In this space we have been able to present events, provide rehearsal space and classes for communities that are normally forgotten and systematically excluded from traditional dance spaces.
In 2020 Byrd-McPhee was awarded an Integrated Arts Residency Fellowship grant at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught her course Hip-Hop, Women and the World. Presently, Byrd-McPhee is relishing her roles as a performer and production manager for The Jazz Continuum, along with her ongoing commitment as Executive Director for Ladies of Hip-Hop and artistic director of LDC (LOHH Dance Collective).